Call for Papers: The St. John’s University’s Humanities Review Spring 2022 Issue

“Crashing the Canon: A Spotlight for the Underrepresented in Higher Education”

Deadline for abstracts: December 22, 2021

Deadline for accepted submissions: February 22, 2022

Editors: Alexander Radison & Kainat Cheema

Contact email: &

When we think of the western literary canon, we tend to think of the famous authors and works that have shaped our literary and scholarly culture into what it is today: Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, Twain, Whitman, and the list goes on and on. But in our age of cultural and technological advancement, we believe that the bodies of works we consider worthy of study should also reflect the current world around us. Thus, the goal of this issue of The Humanities Review is to shine a spotlight on those authors, works, and platforms that have not yet found a home in the literary/academic canon, but still merit the kind of close literary analysis afforded to the canon. Though there have been recent movements to include more BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers on that list, more can be done to highlight the immense and important body of work by these underrepresented writers. The same can be said for modern genre fiction as well, particularly those genres which operate in the realm of wonder–science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, supernatural horror, etc. Likewise, traditional novels and collections of poetry currently dominate the list, but what about newer platforms that employ writing such as comics, graphic novels, film and TV, and video games? Should they be considered in the canon conversation as well?

Included in this historical literary tradition is the hierarchy of language. So, in crashing the canon, we also ask one to consider how standard English has been used to reinforce class, racial, and ethnic segregation in academia and through literature. Should the academy, thus, include into its canon multilingual, multidialectal, AAVE, and other vernacular voices/writings?

We are open to any and all works that discuss the aforementioned underrepresented writers and genres, as well as creative works of poetry, fiction, drama, and translation, from/about the same.

Just a few examples of topics that may fit in this issue:

· Lesser-known/under-studied works from any author/time period

· Underrepresented/under-studied works and authors specifically from the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities

· Analysis of works of genre fiction including, but not limited to:

  • Science fiction and its sub-genres (cyberpunk, dystopian, posthumanism, etc)
  • Fantasy and its subgenres (high, low, magical realism, etc)
  • Noir/detective
  • Horror/supernatural
  • Comics and graphic novels on any subject
  • Modern and/or under-studied works from film and television
  • Video games and/or video games as a genre

· Critical analyses of non-standard English in scholarship/academia

· Works of creative writing (open to all, but underrepresented genres and writers especially encouraged)

Possible Books for Review or Reference Include (but not limited to):

  • Amideo, Emilio, and Project Muse. Queer Tidalectics: Linguistic and Sexual Fluidity in Contemporary Black Diasporic Literature. Northwestern University Press, 2021.
  • Chavez, Felicia Rose. The Anit-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom. Haymarket Books, 2021.
  • Damrosch, David. Comparing the Literatures: Literary Studies in a Global Age. Princeton University Press, 2020.
  • Decker, William Merrill. Geographies of Flight: Phillis Wheatley to Octavia Butler. Northwestern University Press, 2020.
  • Higgins, David M. Reverse Colonization: Science Fiction, Imperial Fantasy, and Alt-victimhood. University of Iowa Press, 2021.
  • Horner, Bruce, et. al., editors. Mobility Work in Composition. University Press of Colorado, 2021.
  • Milne, Leah A. Novel Subjects: Authorship As Radical Self-Care in Multiethnic American Narratives. University of Iowa Press, 2021.

Editors are currently seeking abstracts of 250 words with a working title along with a CV by December 22, 2021.

If your abstract is accepted, the final deadline for submissions is February 22, 2022.

Submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx only) attached via email (i.e. not in the body text of the email) to both editors: &

Submissions must be double-spaced, adhering to MLA format (in-text citations, works cited page, etc.). Book reviews and interviews should be no more than 1,000 words; essays and all other submissions no more than 5,000 words.

The St. John’s University Humanities Review is a peer-reviewed publication.

You will be notified promptly after the deadline if your submission is accepted.

About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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